Space exploration is an industry worth nearly $500 billion. The business of sending rockets into the sky and getting them back down again is a huge one. That’s appropriate, given the galactic nature of the space exploration industry’s ambitions.
It’s natural that such a fascinating and opaque industry would have so many myths about it. Everyone’s interested in what space exploration looks like and everyone has their own theories, but sometimes those theories stray away from fact and into pure fiction.
So, that being said, here are a few of the most common space travel myths that people still believe today (and why they’re wrong)!
1. Getting Through the Kuiper Belt Would Be Pretty Rocky
Any kid can tell you that our solar system is home to a sizeable asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. What’s more, anyone who’s seen Star Wars can tell you that navigating an asteroid belt is a risky business, even in the Millennium Falcon (and our asteroid belt isn’t even home to any giant worm monsters).
So it makes sense that getting through the Kuiper belt must be a difficult endeavor, right? Wrong.
In truth, plenty of extraterrestrial missions have sent probes and vessels through our solar system’s asteroid belt without any issue at all. Turns out there’s a lot of room in space! Who knew?
2. In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream (Or Say Anything, Really)
Okay, it’s true that sound doesn’t travel in the deep, dark vacuum of space. That means if you are set upon by xenomorphs while on a merry spacewalk, no one will hear your shouts.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no sound in space. So long as sound can travel through something, you should be able to hear it.
The cool thing? Different planetary conditions can make sound travel differently. Don’t like your bassy, low voice? Head to Mars, where it’ll sound pitched up and squeakier!
3. You Can See the Great Wall of China From Space
A classic of the space myth genre. Sadly, this one’s not true either. While the Great Wall of China is undoubtedly one of humanity’s most incredible accomplishments, it isn’t large enough to be seen from space.
In fact, you can barely make it out even from low Earth orbit. If you want to see the Great Wall, you’re much better off booking a plane ticket than a seat on the next Virgin Galactic flight (although you can click here for an even cooler way to spend your money)!
Space Travel: The Myths That Keep on Giving
Those are our top 3 space travel myths, but there are so many that we could probably go on forever. The truth is, though, that space travel is more than fascinating enough without having to make stuff about it, so why not head out and pick up some great new science books on the subject? Nothing mythical about those!
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